Fashion Industry – Choose Your Fashion Merchandising Colleges

Fashion industry attracts many young people nowadays not only because it is a rather new profession, but also it is supposed to realize person’s likes in the field of fashion. Besides, it is quite a high-paid profession today. When a young person decides to connect his or her activity with the fashion industry nothing comes to mind except one its aspect – fashion design. Probably, few people actually know that it’s a separate field of fashion industry. In fact, there is a great number of other professions and specialties in fashion including designing clothing, fashion design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, etc. The latter doesn’t get worthy attention, but it is very important. Due to merchandising we have fashionable clothes in the shops and stores.

How can one know whether fashion merchandising is the field for him to start work at? Look through the following traits of a potential fashion merchandiser and if at least one point coincides with your way of life, you have all chances to make the career in the field. Do you like to spend your weekend walking through flea markets for the latest retro fashions? Or maybe your friends want to borrow your fashionable shoes and your defiant accessories? If so, maybe you should take a walk down the fashion runway. Being a student in merchandising, you will get an opportunity to learn more about fabrics and textiles. You are also going to study the cultures and subcultures that shape the way people dress.

No doubt, in order to become a professional merchandiser, a great desire and talent for this specialty is not enough. If a person wants to get into this career and have success in it one needs to get the right education and training at first. A fashion merchandising college will be of great help for you. Once you study at a fashion merchandising college you will get an opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of the fashion industry because there one can get a practical experience and build a strong foundation necessary for further working in this field.

A student has the right to choose whether to obtain a two-year Associate in Art degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in the field of fashion. It depends on the kind of a fashion merchandising college you are going to visit. Besides, you are also welcome to unite this education with classes or even a major or minor in a related specialty, for instance, fashion design or fashion marketing. Students in a fashion merchandising college learn how to manufacture, buy, promote, and sell fashion items, beginning from clothing and jewelry to cosmetics and furniture. They also learn about textiles (fabrics and the fibers used to make them).

One should choose his or her future merchandising college very thoroughly. Depending upon the fashion merchandising college you are going to attend a sort of the necessary courses in your degree course will greatly vary. The most preferable courses include subjects like accounting principles, business law, salesmanship, fashion sketching, merchandising math, merchandising, publicity and promotions, fashion development, trend-spotting, and the history of fashion. You are certain to like those subjects, besides, they will give you the fundamental knowledge of the fashion industry.

Studying at a fashion merchandising college is not like studying at any other educational establishment. Many core courses in fashion merchandising are hands-on and involve a great amount of project work. Professors tend to rely more on their life experiences than on textbooks. If you are going to become a student expect to take a lot of field trips and listen to many guest speakers. You may visit a fashion magazine or large clothing company. You might even swing by a fashion show or two.

Having the profession of a fashion merchandiser is very interesting. It involves much communication with other people. When a person gets the job of a fashion merchandiser he or she is going to spend all days long visiting various fashion shows, buying clothing and designs, speaking with designers, overseeing advertising and marketing campaigns necessary for successful selling of your products, and managing the stores within your business network. You are also expected to find yourself negotiating business agreements with manufacturers and suppliers. Besides, you are going to arrange your own store displays. The scope of your activity depends on the size of the business you have as well as on the level of practical work expected of you.

Beginning the fashion merchandising career you should always improve your skills and knowledge of fashion tendencies in the world, and the most important thing you will have to do is to perfect your ability of picking out the next big thing in fashion before anyone else does. This will guarantee your success. This ability carries the foundation of your new knowledge of past fashions and trends. It includes everything you will obtain by attending a fashion merchandising college, but further you should develop this trend adding your own good taste in clothing.

All About Fashion and Fashion Week

Fashion is the general style or custom of clothing worn at any given time. The word “fashion” comes from the years when people described a woman who was well dressed as a “fashion plate”.

Whether or not it had a name, fashion has always been important to women. Now it seems to be almost as important to men. Beau Brummell is probably the most well known and talked about male fashion plate in history. His colorful clothing and accessories were copied by men all over Europe.

Couturiers with famous names such as Worth, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel had famous fashion houses in Paris. These were the haute couture designers that every other fashion designer since has aspired to become. In spite of Prêt a Porter (French for ready made or off the rack) the world still looks to Paris first when fashion is concerned. Today, although fashion designers and models come from all over the world, fashion week in Paris is still the most exciting event of the year.

Fashion changes nearly instantly. Each season welcomes in a different style, color, hem length, and designer. Today the person who follows fashion like a slave is called a fashionista. Some fashionistas look ridiculous in the new styles but they wear them anyway.

The media is very important to fashion and can rightly take credit for the spread of each new style and trend over the world map. Fashion blogs are the newest manner of communicating the newest fashion. Prior to blogs there were fashion web sites, columns in newspapers and magazines, fashion magazines. One of the most famous fashion magazines is Vogue. It was founded in 1892 and it is the longest lasting fashion magazine in the world with versions being published in England, France, Italy, Germany and other countries. Vogue’s influence grew after W.W. II. Ready to wear designers and perfume companies were their largest advertisers. In the 50′, 60’s 70’s television was featured on television shows such as Today and other morning shows.

A few years ago, Project Runway became one of the most watched reality shows on television. Each season a new designer is launched with his/her own fashion line. The show is sponsored by a well known department store, hair care company, and make-up company. The judges are a model, a fashion magazine editor, a famous designer and a weekly guest. This program watches a group of people who want to become fashion designers go through each stage of the competition. At the end, the three remaining designers compete with a line they put together in a month or two. This is presented at Mercedes Benz fashion week in Bryant Park, N.Y. The winner gets a large check to work at producing his/her own line which will be carried at the major department store.

Fashion Week is a big industry event. There is one held in each of the large fashion capitals. This week the biggest fashion houses and designers display their newest designs and styles. There is a fashion week in Paris, Milan, London, and New York. These weeks occur twice a year for autumn/winter fashions and spring/summer fashions. They are held many months in advance so that the buyers and the magazine editors can see the designs prior to ordering them for their venue. The first week of women’s wear is New York followed by London, Milan and Paris. The men’s wear lines are shown in between in Milan.

Fashion weeks are also held in other places for specific types of clothing such as swim wear and cruise wear in Miami. In fact, there are fashion weeks in many U.S. cities for several different types of clothing. You can probably find an alphabetical listing online if you want to go to one.

Indian Fashion Retailers Looking To Thrive

It is the augmentation in fashion trends in India that revolutionized the merchandising system in retail industry. Brands in apparel, textiles, jewelry, accessories, footwear, cosmetics and salons raised the business more than Rs 40,000 crore.

The Indian retail market is evolving rapidly. It is palpable that now Indian retail industry requires lots more of fashion. The organized retailing is developing at breakneck speed. It is amicable to all that fashion is a vital part of both the retail industry as well as the brands. Fashion has led the retail industry boom and it has sustained its dominance in every malls, markets and stores.

Since the spread-out of malls is increasing, the major issue will be how to organize fashion retails industry, has potential of making Rs 50,000cr business by the year 2007. Indian retail would cover-up 50mn sq ft by 2007 of sales space countrywide, and nearly 50 % of the total space would be assigned for fashion retailing. It is anticipated that about Rs 20,000cr retail sales would be coming-in from the fashion retailing. A population of over one billion, a massive consumer class, India is considered as the most preferred destinations for investments.

Apparel and textiles makes the biggest segment in retailing sectors, and if we accumulate all the other related segments such as jewelry, cosmetics, watches, health & beauty care etc at one single platform, then fashion would account nearly 60 % of the total retail sector.

With radically changing fashion and retail industry, the Indian consumers are facing considerable transformation. With an increase income levels and increasing attitude “LOOK GOOD – FEEL GOOD”, fashion is offering huge potential to penetrate deeper into the untouched Indian markets.

Fashions will account nearly 95% in total sales in the department stores, while in hypermarkets such as Big Bazaar the share could be about 70%. Fashion apparel has been the significant segment in the terms of evolution in Indian retail industry, not due to its size but the way it has influenced lifestyle of the Indian people. It was apparel that led multi-national brands to explore and invest in the Indian market, which led the ball rolling to rearrange the retail industry.

Few key factors that shaped the fashion retail industry are listed below:

. Massive spread-out of the malls, hyper markets and supermarkets throughout the country, even in non-metro cities.

. Mergers and acquisitions, which let huge brands to participate in the local market.

. The advantages by the elimination of global textile quotas in 2005.

. Expansion strategies of brands and retailers.

. Many international brands march into domestic markets.

. Many brands performed well in the mass segment.

. Boom in luxury retail segment.

. Indian fashion designers marked their names at International platforms.

. Considerable expenditure on ad and marketing by apparel brands.

. Enhanced merchandising let the companies to enhance consumer relations.

Few points on which retailers and brands should mull over:

. Collaborative tie-ups with non-competent services providers and brands.

. Offer value-added products, not cash discounts.

. Offer uniform sizing throughout the country.

. Offer personalized services.

. Concentrate on particular buyer or market segment. Take action to fulfill the demands.

. Try to become exclusive stores for specific brands and adopt shop-in-shop system.

. Place well behaved, polite and trained sales staff to manage counters.

. Go for organized merchandising format for your company.

. Avoid offering all at once. Introduce products assortments in a phase manner with latest trends.

. Try to get feedback from the consumer on “What they want?”

Review of some of the retail industry players on the attained targets and their wishes for the current year:

Benetton

Achieved Target:

. Successfully reestablished its place in the market, with opening 22 stores.

. Higher development – In fact the highest of all segments and categories.

. Enhanced brand image from small to huge format flagship.

Wishes

. People should enhance living standard, moving to mono-brand from multi-brand outlets.

. Excellent training and salaries to sales staff and be more mass-oriented.

. Expand in 5 lakh plus towns, providing similar buying experience.

. Looking for continues support from the consumers and to emerge as fastest evolving brand.

. To enhance team’s performance in coming years.

Blackberrys

Achieved targets:

. Take a lead in the dress-up segment that features dressing for occasion, success etc in trousers, and also in men’s suits.

. Concentrated on top around 70 MBOs and trying to deliver better.

. Enhancing perform of team – planning to establish systems to make them more productive and glad.

Wishes:

. To implement system for on-time deliveries.

. To put scissors on product assortment in terms of the number of styles – which will led company to serve better to fewer customers.

. Excellent outsourcing with making dedicated team to take care of it.

Forbes Gokak

Achieved Targets:

. In a span of less than two years, Daks brand has been successful to hit the Indian market despite of being a foreign brand.

. Managed tie-up arrangements for manufacturing Daks brand in India and Central Europe.

. Also signed agreements for Trussardi and Savile Row.

Wishes:

. To be a front runner in the Indian apparel market.

. To add 25 more stores.

. Allure entire high-end women class to wear Trussardi.

. Enhance sales staff performance.

Gini & Jony

Achieved Targets:

. Signed agreement with Reliance

. Signed license agreement for its kidswear brand ‘Levi’s Sykes’.

. Increased production capacities at Daman and Baddi.

Wishes:

. To get recognition as global brand in the international market.

. To create a different brand identity for all in related segments.

. Establish entire lifestyle stores for kids, under the brand Gini & Jony

. Pull down custom duties on accessories and fabrics etc.

Modelama Exports

Achieved Targets:

. Expanded product assortment mix and added knits, which was entirely woven product base before.

. Arranged tie-ups with some global brands, such as J Jill, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss and Marks & Spencer.

. Increased capacity to attain a 40% growth rate comparing to the previous year.

Wishes:

. To train workers (sewing, inspection and finishing).

. To work close with fashion institutes like NIFT to revise and develop fashion trends.

. To introduce a brand, which is competitive, enduring and reliable product.

. To introduce specialized product assortment, featuring all-weather conditioner and change character consequently to match the consumer demands.

. To develop a stage where high-tech technology is available to small and medium scale producers so that they can enhance quality standards.

Pantaloons

Achieved Targets

. Started Asset Management Companies.

. Launched Big Bazaars in remote towns like Sangli.

Wishes:

. Reaching a target business of two and a half thousand crores in 2006-07 fiscal.

. Identify and present the consumers’ fashion requirement.

. Dominate the in all fashion segments like lifestyle, premium and value.

. Introduce or acquire new brands in fashion.

. To rope-in best fashion industry veterans.

Piramyd

Achieved Targets:

. Emerged steadily in the market – launched stores at Ahmedabad and Ludhiana, and planning three more in coming months.

. Introduced new brand “Trumart” with three stores in Mumbai and four in Pune.

. The IPO got oversubscribed by nearly 12 times that generated about Rs 108 crore.

Wishes:

. To Launch FDI for least lifestyle retail, this will lead Indian fashion designers to think globally.

. Create enhanced retail space for high-end retail.

. To make Fashion Alliance more practical and a reality to make sure that it gains momentum.

. To make fashion more affordable with a better ambience.

Raymond

Achieved Targets:

. Launched EBOs for all brands.

. Successfully introduced new product assortment such as non-iron shirt in Park Avenue and new suit ranges to uphold brand image.

. Also introduced the womenswear and kidswear collection.

Wishes:

. To launch a magazine on fashion.

. Begin a fashion week.

. Expand in US market.

. To launch a website that talks about lifestyle and fashion.

Sports Station

Achieved Targets:

. Successfully introduced two brands: H2O Plus and CPS Clothing.

. In a move to concentrate on expansion and new concepts for brands, the company has signed agreements with global brands such as Nike and Levi’s.

. Launched MBO for leather shoes “Shoe Tree.”

Wishes:

. To present new concept, where both international and local brands can be presented under single roof.

. Expand product assortment in luxury, premium and affordable segments.

. Duty validation, especially in footwear which is at a 12.5 % as compared to apparel which is at only 4 %.

. Validating countervailing duty (CVD) which is at of 60 %.

To-Be Fashion Trends

At the end of past century and of course in the dawn of new millennium, the “HAPPENIING”, with substantial enthusiasm and lasting long in “FUTURE” were the key influencing factors in the fashion Industry. People wish to live in present – No looking back. The reality was significant, as the world changed so rapidly, resulting in huge developments, making people to expect more n more from the present and the emerging economy.

Today, the world has completely different future, since forecasted. After years of negligence the history again emerged with wider acceptance. People again started appreciating the core values, old traditions, ceremonies and hold them as a treasure for us. They look back to the past, searching for our origins, something significant to have. All this affected our lives, our preferences and our selections to reposition ourselves. This is also happens in fashion too.

Old Fashion – Back In Rhythm
People are thriving to get equilibrium point in a wavering world. Here, history is only our inspiration. The fashion industry is surged with look-alikes that were present in the market even before the originals, which empowers to a few designers. It is time mull over the situation, as the fashion industry paused instead moving ahead in creating new innovation. It is going diving deeper into the past to bring out contemporary version than the fast trends and buildups. Alike politics, ideology for ethics, values, regulation, category and style is apparently noticeable in fashion industry too.

Bouncing Back of Historic Echoes – Repeating History
History rolls out our own tradition. In fashion industry, the journey starts from ancient Europe. People value and re-organize treasures, diving deep into the times of past European clothing fashions till great designs of embroideries and laces of great grand mothers. People are witnessing the coming back of old fashion and retro-trends.

Class Fashion
Attraction, high-class and stylishness are keys for to-be trends. Designers inspired from the old members of the aristocracy, at present it is the high society. The sophisticated lady is now dressing like a queen, princess or an empress. The present high class is circumspect and less lavish, in contrast to the show-off fashion trends.

Classic styles
Due to change in preferences, all the inspiration sources (like Couture classics, British classics, and masculine weaving classics), are embedded with elegance, turn into feminine fashion.

Styles from pioneers and plains
The journey of historic fashion crosses all borders of the different countries, fashion from Britain, France, Russia etc… to the country life, gypsy and folk fashion styles. People can find the routes of fashion inspiration from the initial European emigrants to the America.

Ethnic Styles
The influence of Eastern countries over fashion industry is declining; however, their economy is becoming a real competitive dilemma to the Western World. Albeit, there is considerable cultural influence of African Muslim countries with their exotic jewelry and embroidery designs.

It is confusing that nothing is clear for future. People would only witness influence of above all…

Natural Preference
After a long time with extreme elegance, glitter, shine, mad design, print and pattern mixes, people are moving towards natural harmony. The originals from the Mother Nature, natural textures and shining, the zigzag, allure us. Now, people want to go for endurance and quality of a fabric, the luxury, and the exotic designs.

People are tired of fast fashion trends and the hip hops, now they wish long lasting and timeless comfortable clothing fashions. Keeping distance from ‘low cost’ clothing, with appearance unveiling high standard of living. People desire all these extravagances for low price.

Conclusion
People will prefer smart and stunning matches, which are the major keys for fashion blends for various motives, materials, and prints all in single outfit. At haphazard mixing, mix-and-match fashion, blended patch works and intense style odds are talk of past.

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Indian Fashion Industry

With the end of the 20th century came the end of all hype which has created a more practical and pragmatic environment and has given a more stable picture of the fashion business.
In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario wasn’t exactly colorless. It was exciting, stylish and very graceful. There were no designers, models, star or fashion design labels that the country could show off. The value of a garment was judged by its style and fabric and not by who made it.

It was regarded as ever so chic and fashionable to approach any unfamiliar tailor, who could make a garment for a few rupees, providing the perfect fit, finish and style. The high society lady, who wore it, was proud for getting a good bargain and for giving her name to the end result.

In 60s, tight ‘kurtas’, ‘churidars’ and high coiffures were a trend among ladies. It was an era full of naughtiness and celebration in arts and music and cinema, manifested by liberation from restriction and acceptance of new types of materials such as plastic film and coated polyester fabric.

The 70s witnessed an increase in the export of traditional materials outside the country as well as within. Hence, international fashion arrived in India much before the MTV culture with the bold colors, flower prints and bell-bottoms. Synthetics turned trendy and the disco culture affected the fashion scenario.

It was in the early 80s when the first fashion store ‘Ravissant’ opened in Mumbai. At that time garments were retailed for a four-figure price tag. The ’80s was the era of self consciousness and American designers like Calvin Klein became popular. In India too, silhouettes became more masculine and the ‘salwar kameez’ was designed with shoulder pads.

With the evolution of designer stores in Mumbai, the elegant fashion design culture was a trend among Indians along with their heavy price tags. No doubt that a garment with a heavy price tag was at the bottom stage of fashion. But clients immediately transformed into the high fashion fold where they were convinced that that the word ‘elegant fashion design culture’ means, it had to have a higher price tag.

Garments were sold at unbelievable prices only because the designers had decided to get themselves noticed by making showy outfits and getting associated with the right shows, celebrities and events.

Later, fashion shows shifted to competitive events each attempting to out-do the other in theme, guest list and media coverage. For any newcomer, the fashion business was the number one professional art that time.

In the 90’s, the last decade of the millennium, a move towards the drastic pairing down returned with ethnic wears (Today, ethnic wear market in India is accounted to Rs. 9000 crore). This led to the decline and the recession, the push to sell at any cost and keep staying in the limelight. With heavy cut throat competition and sound awareness of the client, the inevitable occurred. The price tags, which had once reached at a peak, began their downside journey.

At those times the downturn was not only being experienced in the price tags of the garments, but also in the business of fashion shows. More models, choreographers, make-up men, hairstylists and designers streamed down into their business.

The fun and party time in the Indian fashion scenario had not ended with this, but continued. It was a point, where it reached at a certain steady level and from there, in the beginning of the 21st centaury, with new designers and models and some sensible designing; the fashion hype accelerated its speed.